September 26, 2018
Dan O’Donnell on how Democrats’ handling of the Brett Kavanaugh allegations reveals their contempt for the administration of justice
Special Guest Perspective by Dan O’Donnell
From the very moment Dr. Christine Blasey Ford went public with her decades-old attempted sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Democrats had already decided his fate.
“I believe Dr. Blasey Ford,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), “because she is telling the truth. And you know it by her story.”
“I believe Dr. Ford because she makes a very credible case,” added Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
“It really does have a ring of truth to it,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).
This, apparently, is the new burden of proof for the Democratic Party: If an allegation against a political enemy has a ring of truth to it, then it will be believed regardless of whether it is ever proven or even adjudicated.
“A lie,” Mark Twain once famously said, “will go round the world before the truth gets its boots on.” Today, the same goes for accusations. Their veracity and even verifiability aren’t nearly as important as their very existence…and their ability to go round the world before the accused has a chance to put his boots on.
Even more troublingly, when the accused is a conservative, Democrats are all too willing to abandon western civilization’s most deeply held notions of jurisprudence in the name of political victory.
Both Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh’s former college classmate Anna Ramirez are accusing Kavanaugh of very serious crimes. Though statutes of limitations bar them from bringing criminal charges against him, if their allegations are to bar Kavanaugh from sitting on the Supreme Court, they must be properly vetted, not merely “believed” because they have a “ring of truth to them.”
Democrats, though, are hellbent on denying Kavanaugh an opportunity to defend himself before them because, as Sen. Hirono explained, his political ideology destroys the credibility of his denials.
“I put his denial in the context of everything I know about how he approaches his cases,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “His credibility is already very questionable in my mind and the minds of my fellow [Democratic] Judiciary members.”
When asked to clarify this stunning admission that Democrats judge the credibility of the accused not on their testimony or the strength of the evidence against them but on their political philosophy, Hirono doubled down.
“Look, we’re not in a court of law,” she told MSNBC the next day. “We’re in a court of credibility at this point.”
The implication here is crystal clear: Dr. Ford and Ramirez have credibility and Judge Kavanaugh does not.
Never mind that Ford cannot recall with any certainty the year in which the alleged incident or where it occurred. Never mind that she didn’t breathe a word of the alleged incident to anyone for at least 30 years, until the memory was recovered during a couples’ therapy session in 2012. Never mind that in that session, her therapists’ note indicate that four boys attempted to assault her while she now says it was only two (a discrepancy she blames on her therapist taking poor notes). Never mind that everyone Ford has named as an attendee of the party at which the alleged incident occurred vehemently denies ever being there—including her best friend, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee under penalty of perjury that she never attended a party like the one described and had no idea who Kavanaugh even was in high school.
Never mind that Ramirez could only name Kavanaugh as her alleged abuser following “six days of carefully consulting her memories.” Never mind that The New York Times reported that she called college friends last week expressing doubts about whether Kavanaugh actually did what she now accuses him of doing. Never mind that not a single one of the several dozen people The Times and The New Yorker contacted to corroborate Ramirez’s story actually could. Never mind that Ramirez’s best friend in college said Ramirez never said a thing about it to her. Never mind that Ramirez never told anyone about this alleged incident until three decades later. Never mind that Ramirez has been unable to produce a single person to corroborate her story.
“I believe Dr. Blasey Ford and I believe Ms. Ramirez,” said Sen. Gillibrand. “Both of their stories are credible.”
“I believe Dr. Ford, the survivor,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a Judiciary Committee member, said before any of this evidence casting doubt on Ford’s claims was publicly revealed.
“I believe her,” added fellow Judiciary Committee member Kamala Harris (D-CA).
Kavanaugh, it seems, does not enjoy the presumption of innocence on which the very notion of American jurisprudence rests.
“It is Judge Kavanaugh who is seeking a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court,” Judiciary Committee member Chris Coons (D-DE) said Monday, “and [it is Judge Kavanaugh] who I believe now bears the burden of disproving these allegations rather than Dr. Ford and Ms. Ramirez.”
This, of course, is perfectly fitting for the Democrats’ new court of credibility. The same Democratic Party that still rails against the McCarthyism of a half century ago is now perfectly fine with asking its political enemies, “Are you or have you ever been a sexual predator?”
Worse yet, they have no sense of decency in even waiting to hear the answer, as they have spent weeks now trying to keep Kavanaugh’s accusers from having to confront him in an adjudicatory setting.
Not only have they demanded an FBI investigation into alleged incidents over which the FBI has no jurisdiction, they are acceding to demands from Ford’s attorney that run counter to pretty much every commonly held tradition of justice in western civilization of the past few thousand years.
Ford is demanding that she not testify under oath. She is demanding that she not have to face Kavanaugh when she levels her accusations against him. And she is demanding that Kavanaugh testify before she does so that, in a Kafkaesque grotesquerie, Kavanaugh must answer allegations against him that have not yet been made.
All of this is fine in the court of credibility, though, because the second that Kavanaugh was accused, he lost his credibility and along with it any ability to defend himself. When he spoke out for the first time in an interview with FOX News Monday night, Judiciary Committee member Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) told CNN that she didn’t believe him because of all of the rumors and innuendo surrounding him.
“When he said that he actually downplayed his drinking and he said that he never really blacked out so he didn’t remember things—I mean those are things that really go to [his] credibility given some of the stories circulating out there,” she said.
Such hearsay, which would be inadmissible in a court of law, is in the court of credibility used as dispositive proof of the charges against the accused. Not only is the burden of proof forced upon him, but anything anyone anywhere says about him can and will be used against him.
This isn’t justice. It isn’t even McCarthyism. It is Salem, Massachusetts circa 1692, and Master Kavanaugh is about to be hung for the spells Goody Ford and Goody Ramirez swear he cast on them.
That a supposedly progressive political party now wants a witch trial instead of a Senate hearing is downright terrifying.